My Dog Ate Lipstick – What Should I Do?

One of the constant complaints from pet owners is that their dog swallowed one absurd thing or the other. I have a theory that because our fur friends can’t talk, they like to introduce themselves to new and interesting objects with their mouths. Unfortunately, sometimes these new friends smell or taste good enough to be swallowed, and our canine buddies fall for the temptation.

can dogs sense when something is wr...
can dogs sense when something is wrong with their owner

Let me guess, your lipstick fell off the table, and your dog got to it before you could say, Jack Robinson. Yes, dogs can eat any and everything, but that doesn’t mean that they should eat everything. A lot of things they choose to eat may be dangerous and lead to life-threatening conditions. Although we try to keep our canine friends away from swallowing dangerous items, accidents like this can happen. 

So, if your dog ate your lipstick, welcome to the club! I can almost hear your heart beating loudly in fear as you read this article. Take a deep breath and relax. If you take the right steps, your baby will be fine. 

Is Lipstick Toxic to Dogs?

Lipstick is entirely made of chemicals, and for this reason, you might be terribly scared when your pet eats it. Luckily, regular lipstick is not toxic to dogs. However, lipstick can cause several digestive issues like vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea until the chemical passes out of the gut. Eating lipstick can also expose your baby to harmful metals like aluminum, cadmium, and lead.

Although ingesting lipstick in itself does not pose a serious threat to dogs, the packaging material might be more harmful. If your dog has consumed the lipstick tubing or even the sponge and container together with the lipstick, then you might have to expect more complex gastrointestinal issues. These items can cause blockage, tears, and bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract resulting in a severe problem like gastroenteritis.

In accumulated amounts, the metals in lipstick can destroy the organs, worsen allergies, make your dog prone to diseases, cause organ failure and lead to death. Most of the metals in lipstick are carcinogenic, meaning that they have to potential to cause cancer. Although it would take years of metal toxicity to see ill effects, it is best to limit these kinds of exposure. The greater the amount of lipstick ingested, the greater the odds of metal toxicity.

What Happens if A Dog Eats Lipstick?

If your fur baby consumes lipstick, the aftermath depends on the level of toxicity of what was ingested. In the best scenario, nothing happens, and your pet passes out streaks of red lipstick in his poop. In mild cases, your dog might experience GIT issues for a short period. In more severe cases, you might see your dog battling with the toxic effects for a longer time. 

Stomach upset is usually a sign that there is a problem with the digestive system. Some of the symptoms indicating a likely problem with the digestive system when your dog has eaten lipstick include vomiting, diarrhea, clawing at the paw, smelly farts, and nausea. These can persist for long periods if the level of toxicity of what was ingested is high. Most of the time, lipstick consumption will result in stomach upset for your dog, and this can be easily treated by a veterinarian. 

Besides the toxicity that the lipstick can cause, the packaging is another source of problems for your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. The packaging can bring about serious tears to the stomach and intestinal lining, resulting in more complicated issues such as bleeding, inflammation, and an infection. The lipstick container can also cause a blockage in the gastrointestinal tract. Some of the symptoms of intestinal blockage include abdominal swelling/pain, constipation, mucoid stools, loss of appetite, lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Why Do Dogs Eat Lipstick?

Most dogs eat lipstick (and other foreign objects) because they feel like it. Because dogs are very curious creatures, the sight of something as colorful as lipstick can be quite tempting to them. The colorful appearance coupled with the perfumed smell of the lipstick might just be an irresistible attraction for dogs. Perhaps the sight and smell of something like this may remind them of their favorite treat or toy.

In cases where your dog has eaten lipstick two or more times, then there could be something beyond curiosity responsible for that. Some dogs suffer from a condition known as pica, where they have an irresistible urge to swallow different objects. Your dog might be suffering from this condition. Other possible causes for ingesting objects include stress, nutritional deficiencies, and even boredom.

Scientists suspect that cosmetics may have chemical components that can alter the normal endocrine functions in the body, especially the reproductive hormones. Widespread research is ongoing to confirm if this is true and to understand how the process works. If there is an effect that lipsticks have on reproductive hormonal function, and you’ve noticed that your pet has an affinity for lipstick, there’s a likelihood that your dog might find these interesting to consume because of the physiological effects that it brings to their body. There is a slim chance that this is happening, though.

Conclusion

As a dog owner, prioritize paying attention to your fur baby as this is a sure means of keeping them safe from hazards. As soon as you find out your dog ate lipstick, pay closer attention to him, look out for any behavioral changes, and head to the clinic. Do not just assume that the case is a mild one when you have not taken the time to study the situation. If you notice any change in their pooping pattern and the appearance of the poop, or if you’re beginning to notice any of the symptoms of gastrointestinal problems mentioned above, then you should contact your veterinarian immediately.